(HealthDay News) — Many health care workers do not remove personal protective equipment (PPE) correctly, according to a brief report published in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Caroline Zellmer, from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and colleagues examined variation in PPE removal procedures. Data were collected on the PPE removal of 30 health care workers in an academic health center.

The researchers found that 57% of health care workers removed their PPE in the correct order; only 17% removed their PPE in the correct order and disposed of it in the patient room. Thirteen percent removed their PPE in the correct order and did so gently. Forty percent removed their PPE outside of the designated isolation area in the patient room, removing it in the hallway. Fifty-seven percent removed their gown before removing gloves and 50% removed their gown incorrectly, with a lot of movement.

“We believe the findings of our study have implications for infection prevention, indicate inadequate adherence to proper PPE removal, and highlight the increased likelihood of the inadvertent transmission of infectious agents by health care workers,” the authors write.

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